Phoenix Suns Weekly Writers Roundup January 21
1. What do you think of Alex Len’s performance in the last week?
Troy- Len was impressive this week. I think he proved that even if he ultimately doesn’t live up to his draft position, he has a future in the NBA, if for no other reason than he knows how to use his height to his advantage. I also like the fact that he is making an effort to prove himself. It doesn’t look like his ankle has been holding him back much, so now is Len’s time to grow and become accustomed to life in the pros and show what he is capable of.
Lorenzo- So far his Len’s performance has been what I expected it to be; slow and gradual. It will take time for Len to get back into a rhythm on the court. He was given more minutes Sunday night and it proved to be a successful night for him. Len was 3 for 4 from the field with six rebounds and I expect once he’s in a rhythm offensively he will fit nicely into the lineup.
Eric- I like what I’m seeing from him. I’m glad that he is healthier. He looked more agile than I’ve seen him. That’s the important thing. He’s only 20-years-old and still very raw, but I saw a couple things that were impressive. His aggressiveness overall surprised me a bit, and he showed a glimmer of greatness and potential that really excites the fans here in Phoenix.
2. At nearly the halfway point in the season, where do you think the Suns will finish out West and what will their record be?
Troy- Seeing as Bledsoe is projected to return this season, I think he can ensure a late win streak that will allow the Suns to pull off the 8th seed with a low to mid-forty win season. Probably 45-37 at best, give or take a couple of wins. Considering they were projected to win 19 games that would be a huge success even if they don’t make noise in the playoffs. I think the Suns will get a playoff spot based on the pure effort of the guys on the team.
Lorenzo- I expect the Suns to continue to struggle in close games; with that said I still expect them to win enough games to get in with the 7th or 8th seed in the west. The Suns will miss having two explosives guards in Bledsoe and Dragic. Dragic will continue to carry the team offensively but the lack of experience will keep the team from being much better this season.
Eric- I think Phoenix will end up being the 6th seed. The lowest they will be is 7th because they will finish better than Dallas (as Monta Ellis will not continue to overachieve). They will continue to do better than experts ever thought they would, but without Bledsoe’s contributions, they won’t nab the 4th seed in the Western Conference as they could with him. I’d say they’ll finish about 45-37.
3. Will Dragic make the All-Star team? Why or Why not?
Troy- While Dragic certainly deserves to be in the ASG, the fact is he won’t be on the team. The West is too full of guards just as good as him that have more popularity and superstar credentials than him. After the ASG, I think as he continues to put up great stats, people will say he should’ve been there. If he continues to play like this, whether in Phoenix or anywhere else, for another year, I think more and more people will start to realize that he is an All-Star caliber point guard.
Lorenzo- I would love to say that he will make the All-Star team but because of the talent and exposure of some other guards in the west, Dragic will not get the support needed to get in. If the system were setup so that only the writers and coaches voted; Dragic most likely would be voted in. But since that is not the case I don’t see him getting the votes to go to the All-Star game this year.
Eric- It would be fantastic if Dragic could make the All-Star team, he has certainly earned it. He is the best playmaker on the team, can create his own shot, and makes the whole offense work. He gets the most defensive attention from opposing teams and still is the highest scorer on the team. However, he won’t because the West is so stacked.
Stephen Curry and Kobe Bryant (James Harden due to Kobe’s injury) should be the starting backcourt. The reserves are picked by the coach at the reigns of the winningest squad in the conference. Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook also shouldn’t make it due to injury, while other vote-getters Jeremy Lin, Ricky Rubio, Klay Thompson haven’t played well enough to garner a spot.
That leaves Damian Lillard, Mike Conley, Tony Parker and of course Goran Dragic. Parker and either Lillard or Conley will probably get picked as reserve guards, leaving Dragic out. But he’ll get in eventually.